Partnership Plan (2000-2005)

"(Collaboration) represents primarily a means by which interested parties can better serve the needs of educating our youth." (S. Trubowitz & P. Longo, 1997)

RATIONALE

Institutional Mission: The College of St. Benedict (CSB) and St. John’s University (SJU) are dedicated to liberal arts education, valued as the center of "disciplined inquiry and a rich preparation for the professions, public life and service to others in many forms of work" (CSB/SJU, 2000, p. 3). As Benedictine institutions, CSB/SJU strive to prepare students for life-long ethical leadership and service, with the institutions being connected to off-campus communities and programs that work to promote peace, justice, and the common good. Developing and maintaining vital partnerships with communities of learning, P-12 schools in particular, is an valuable facet of connection to community.

It is essential that the college and university are involved in partnerships that endeavor to support P-12, pre-college education. Clearly colleges are indebted to elementary and secondary schools for the quality of the prior education of its entering students. Also, as schools and the global world face increasingly complex challenges and declining resources, it is imperative that institutions of higher education intentionally collaborate with community schools in preparing students academically. Furthermore, collaboration would intend to promote ethical and wise leadership, service, and education to improve human and environmental conditions.

Education Department Mission: The Education Department’s conceptual model describes "a vision of human educational decision-making based on appropriate professional knowledge, grounded in Benedictine values, and focused on the essential goals of meeting the needs and enhancing the lives of all students." We believe that as a teacher education department we are fundamentally committed to all students. The partnership plan that follows is an attempt to aim the mission of this philosophy and make it real through the guidance of our students and through collaborative efforts with P-12 schools. In fact, we deem it essential that exceptional teacher education programs must function in contact with the real world of the classroom/school. To do otherwise would be to deprive "prospective teachers of necessary contact with reality" (Trubowitz & Longo, 1997, p.34). Furthermore, because teacher education programs are a vital stepping stone in the lifelong development of the teacher, partnerships with schools provide the necessary opportunities for "ongoing efforts of both college faculty and public school staff to provide nurturance, knowledge, and security to ensure continued professional growth" (p.34). Continued teacher support through various efforts within partnerships is another way of honoring our commitment to the development of all students.

Fundamental to the goal of serving the needs of all students is effective decision making on the part of those who guide and work with students. It is imperative that "teachers should actively participate in the decision-making process" (Education Department Conceptual Model). To do this meaningfully demands that opportunities be provided for candidates to practice the process of decision making in the real world of the classroom. To do this effectively calls for the collaborative efforts of the Education Department, mentor teachers, school administrators, P-12 students, and additional college/university departments and programs.

It is the aim of the Education Department to work with partner schools with a shared vision of quality education for all students and to develop mutually beneficial programs in which the enterprise of each institution is "informed by the needs and practices of the other" ( Levin, 1997, p. 64). Furthermore, it is the intent of the Education Department to build meaningful partnerships that will ensure that candidates have exposure to diverse student populations and valuable opportunities in quality field experience programs.

Field Experience: We believe that by developing intentional, purposeful partnership programs we address the many considerations of quality field experience programs. McIntyre, Byrd, & Foxx (1996) describe many of these considerations. For example, they note that candidates’ "familiarity with the context masks their potential vision of alternative" (p. 173), and that student teachers must participate with the many communities that exist in a school if they are to develop into a reflective practitioner. It is our intent to examine this and other considerations in order to fully integrate best practice into the field experience programs.

The Education Department recognizes that building and maintaining partnerships is a continual process that demands cooperation, commitment, time, resources and assessment. Building and maintaining partnerships in this particular geographic area necessitates focus on two important considerations. First, because the surrounding area is fairly rural and predominately white, we must creatively seek meaningful diversity opportunities for candidates. Second, the presence of other teacher education programs places significant demands on the same community schools for field experience opportunities. We realize the necessity to creatively deal with these considerations. We need to focus programs to address issues of diversity. We need to regularly and programmatically seek the input of our partner and cooperating schools, responding to their unique knowledge of the constantly changing world of the elementary, middle, and secondary classroom. As the Education Department moves forward with partnership building and development, we recognize, as Boyce Williams (1997) suggests, that we need to take a proactive stance as we strive for excellence in regard to planning for collaborative ventures. Undergirding the proactive stance advocated by Williams are the beliefs that:

1. Collaboration must be planned.

2. Collaborative activities must have a shared vision.

3. Collaborative activities must have a shared language.

4. Collaboration is built on trust and understanding (P.91).

We also recognize that a proactive stance must consider that "reciprocity is key and it must be addressed early and reviewed regularly. (Trubowitz & Longo, p. 45). These principles serve as a guide to insure the success of efforts to initiate and sustain meaningful collaborative efforts intended to help prepare students for academic success, wise decision making, leadership and service in a complex and ever-changing world.

References:

College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. Academic catalog: 2000-2001.

Levine, M. (1997, summer). Can Professional Development Schools help us achieve what matters most? Action in Teacher Education, 63-73.

McIntyre, D.J., Byrd, D. M., & Foxx, S.M. (1996). Field and laboratory experiences. In J. Sikula, T.J. Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (2nd ed.), (pp. 171-193. New York: Macmillan.

Trubowitz, S. & Longo, P. (1997). How it works: Inside a school-college collaboration. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Williams, B. (1997, summer). Challenges and opportunities for collaboration in teacher education programs. Action in Teacher Education, 89-96.


Overview

A mutually beneficial partnership that provides a meaningful and reflective field experience enabling candidates to observe teachers and practice decision making in the real world of the classroom while simultaneously serving a purposeful need in the schools requires examination and consideration of several principles. Trubowitz & Long (1997) outline several key indicators that they believe are crucial for success in school-college collaboration. Partnerships might best operate, for example, "on the basis of enlightened self interest" (p. 6) and thus need to be grounded in vision, yet approached with flexibility. Furthermore, a college must avoid mandating what a partnership ought to be. Rather, colleges should recognize the demands placed on principals and teachers, try to support the school’s articulated needs, and make use of teachers’ practical expertise to guide the development of courses.

The CSB/SJU Education Department endeavors to address particular challenges. For example, we recognize the challenges of a geographic location in a predominately rural, largely white middle-class environment. Teacher candidates need to experience multiple opportunities to practice decision making and be attentively reflective in diverse setting with diverse student populations. Furthermore, training in multiculturalism needs to be connected to the real life setting of the classroom ( Powell, Zehm, & Garcia). Another consideration, for example, is that "cooperating teachers greatly inform the student teaching context and also the behavior and beliefs of novice teachers" (McIntyre, Byrd, & Foxx, p. 173). Therefore we must insure that participants in the collaborative efforts are trained in the collaboration (Williams, 1997) and mentorship process. Furthermore, it will be necessary to examine the field experience program in relation to our courses, the needs of schools, practicing teachers and P-12 students, best practice in relation to field experience, teacher candidate response, and adherence to our conceptual model and NCATE standards for partnership and field experience. And, obviously, we must attend to the immediate need to provide approximately 830 field placements each year. With this complexity of considerations it is evident that a comprehensive partnership plan can only be accomplished and maintained with diligent effort, adequate research, collegial collaboration, institutional support, and time.

The partnership plan that follows should be understood as the first phase of an overall implementation plan designed to occur over at least a 5 year period. Phases two and three will be responsive to assessments of developments in Phase One. Ongoing feedback and assessment from schools, faculty and students will be used to further develop phases two and three. These phases will be elaborated on at a later date. As with other segments of our overall departmental plan, some components of the partnership plan have been implemented, others are in process and some are new initiatives.

1. Implementation Phase One is the most comprehensive of the 3 phases. It is intended to address the following goals:

a. Define and describe levels of partnership. The Education Department has defined a flexible guideline for understanding school/college partnerships. There are three levels: formal, cooperative, and networking. A school-college collaborative effort may change level based on the response to the institutions’ needs. The formal partnership level describes intentional and mutually beneficial collaborative efforts designed to further the mission of participating institutions. The cooperative level describes more informal, less intensive relationships with schools that work with the Education Department. The networking level refers to connections within the college/university institution in order to capitalize on existing resources (Williams, 1997.) The networking category describes the Education Department’s partnership efforts directed within the institution.

b. Strengthen and build relationships with schools that will insure early, continuous, and increasingly complex and reflective field experiences in area schools by providing candidates with multiple opportunities to teach and to observe real young people being taught. Such relationships will thus provide experiences and practice teaching from which to promote critical thinking and reflective decision making. The Education Department continues to build on already existing relationships and develop programs that will meet the immediate needs for field experience while looking to long term considerations for building and maintaining quality field experience programs. In the experience of Trubowitz and Longo (1997), partnership efforts that pursue "mutually beneficial self-interest form the most enduring basis for a collaborative venture." In this on-going effort, the Education Department seeks feedback from our advisory council as well as individually with partnership and cooperative schools to insure that schools will feel their interests have also been served.

c. Increase field experience opportunities in classrooms with diverse populations. Meaningful multicultural training for pre-teachers must be connected to the real world life setting of the classroom. (Powell, Zehm, Garcia, 1996). The Education Department has spent the last year developing its Diversity Plan to programmatically ensure that all candidates will have opportunity to work with diverse student populations.

d. Develop unified field experience program that more effectively integrates and connects various courses to the potential field site. Experience in the field has the power to promote critical analysis and reflection on one’s practice as a teacher (Howey, 1996), but it must be coherently connected to the content and pedagogical knowledge taught in the college classroom. The Education Department is working with partner schools to further connect the content of the course work in a more focused manner to the related field experience (e.g., the South Junior High Partnership.) The Education Department is examining new ways to approach this and intends to expand the work done with South Junior High to include other schools and programs in integrating pedagogical and content knowledge into field experience programs.

e. Collect preliminary data for implementation of Phase II. Assessment of partnerships critical and will be ongoing. A plan will be developed to review partnerships in reference to NCATE partnership standards.

2. Implementation Phase Two of the plan will respond to assessment and feedback of formal partnership schools and cooperative efforts. It will investigate grant seeking possibilities to further partnership efforts and enhance P-12 education. Furthermore, a tentative proposal put forth in the diversity plan to explore the possibility of a domestic study abroad may be part of this plan.

3. Implementation Phase Three will also continue to self-monitor and revisit early agreements or understanding with partner institutions to insure that pursuits continue to consider the needs and programs of our partners. Furthermore as programs evolve a new plan will be articulated to reflect changing needs.

References:

Howey, K. (1996). Designing coherent and effective teacher education programs. In J. Sikula, T.J. Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (2nd ed.), (pp. 143-170). New York: Macmillan.

McIntyre, D.J., Byrd, D. M., & Foxx, S.M. (1996). Field and laboratory experiences. In J. Sikula, T.J. Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (2nd ed.), (pp. 171-193. New York: Macmillan.

Powell, R., Zehm, S., & Garcia, J. (1996). Field experience: Strategies for exploring diversity in schools. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Trubowitz, S. & Longo, P. (1997). How it works: Inside a school-college collaboration. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Williams, B. (1997, summer). Challenges and opportunities for collaboration in teacher education programs. Action in Teacher Education, 89-96.


Implementation Phase One

GOAL #1: TO DEFINE AND DESCRIBE LEVELS OF PARTNERSHIP

To address the mission of creating a strategic plan for partnership development it is necessary to lay out a working definition of partnerships that describes the distinctions in existing and future relationships with outside institutions and departments. This work came together in the year 2000 and is described as follows:

In 1999-2000 academic year the CSB/SJU Education Department arranged for 833 field placements. Of these, 134 were pre-admission clinical placements, 531 were methods course field placements, 90 were student teaching placements and 78 were in foundations courses. In addition to these placements, the Service Learning Office assisted the Education Department with at least 78 field placements for service learning projects. We expect the number of field placements to remain fairly stable over the next 5 years. This large number of placements requires that we work with many schools.

The Education Department has worked successfully with several schools in the past, some more intensively than others. Schools have responded very positively to having our students involved in their schools, remarking that typically they are well prepared and helpful to have in the classroom. However, weaknesses do exist. One perceived weakness is that requests to schools for field experience sites came from several individuals within the department, often without shared knowledge of placement requests. Therefore, there is a need for a cohesive plan for working with schools. Furthermore, there is no assurance within the field experience program that candidates would have worked with students of culturally, economically, and educationally diverse backgrounds. We need to develop relationships with schools that will provide these particular types of opportunities for our students. In addition, some courses needed to planned more intentionally with the school teachers in order to focus the field experiences in response to the actual cooperating classroom. Also, as our Minnesota state licensure requirements changed, so have field experience requirements. The partnership levels described here are intended to address the limitations and problems previously noted.

Formal Partnership Level: The partnership plan specifies more formal intensive relationships with schools as our Formal Partnership Schools. These schools are chosen based on historical relationship, geographic location, and the individual schools interest in working with our program. Formal Partnership Schools are schools that we enter into formal agreements with to do the following: 1) mutually develop a mission statement, 2) create a school-university partnership committee which will define goals for the year, 3) outline an assessment/reflection process for the end-of-year review, and 4) advise the Education Department via the Teacher Education Advisory council . The partnership committee discusses and plans development and implementation of projects and programs with "enlightened self interest." (Trubowitz & Longo, 1997.) These may include mentoring and training of pre-teachers, staff development, training on collaboration, site improvement, tutor programs, student enrichment, and, as is being considered with the St. Joseph Lab School, the possible evolution into a formal Professional Development School.

An example of a Formal Partnership School as defined in this plan is the collaborative effort with St. Cloud’s South Junior High School. This partnership was planned and implemented in 1999-2000 with the pilot middle level teacher training program. This program focuses on the middle level student, middle level philosophy, and content and pedagogical training for the middle level teacher. In 2000-2001, in response to program assessment, the partnership with South evolved into a reflective, active observation program that introduces the candidate to all aspects of a middle level program including all content areas, team meetings, teacher preparation, and after-school activities. The principal, social worker and teachers have had regular presence in college classrooms. South Junior High and CSB/SJU also have collaborated on site improvement, Fast Forward (a tutor-mentor program for Chicano-Latino-Hispano students), Fine Arts programming, and are considering other projects as well.

As of January 2000, 3 schools are in the process of becoming Formal Partnership Schools: South Junior High, St. Joseph Lab School and Kennedy Elementary. Additional schools that have communicated interest in partnership development with the Education Department are targeted for future development. 

Cooperating Level: The partnership plan identifies Cooperating Schools as those that play an important role in the quality of our field experience program, but do so less extensively than our Formal Partnership schools. Cooperative Schools host pre-teachers for field experiences, often participate in college/university sponsored opportunities, and many have a presence on the Education Department advisory council. The Education Department intends to continue building relationships with Cooperative Schools by learning more about their programs, sharing knowledge, mission statements, diversity statistics and plans, consulting with school teachers and administrators, and developing cooperative projects as needs arise.

Categorization of a Cooperative School is not static and that school may move into Formal Partnership Status as school and/or college interest and need indicates. An example of a Cooperating School is a school targeted for becoming a Formal Partnership School, Avon Elementary. Avon Elementary requested help from the Education Department in providing services to a recent influx of ESL students. The Education Department recruited Spanish education students to apply as paid tutors and these students began working in the fall of 2000. Furthermore, the Education Department networked with the Service Learning and ESL departments to create a service learning opportunity for students in the Spanish Department to tutor ESL students and teach Spanish mini- units to classrooms. The ESL coordinator graciously offered training to students working as ESL tutors. College students doing Spanish service learning projects will begin in the Avon classrooms in the spring of 2001. Also, the Education Department collaborated with Service Learning and the Peace Studies Department to initiate a peace-building through cooperative play program. This project will also begin in the spring of 2001. Furthermore, four Avon teachers were mentor teachers for candidates in the language methods course. Several more are hosting pre-teachers for a pre-admission clinical experience. Assessment of the current year will be used to determine the direction taken to develop formal partnership.

Many schools that have historically worked and cooperated with the Education Department are categorized as Cooperating Schools and are targeted to become Formal Partnership Schools. Others may become Formal Partnership Schools as relationships develop and various needs are addressed (Implementation stages two and three.)

Networking Level: The networking level describes the working relationships within the college/universities. The Education Department recognizes the need to continue networking and building relationships within the college/university institution in order to better support P-12 formal partnerships and cooperatives. In the partnership plan the term Networking refers to building stronger connections within the college/university in an effort to maximize the resources available to build partnerships. The Education Department has intentionally networked with several departments within the institution including but not limited to Service Learning, ESL, Peace Studies, Fast Forward, Fine Arts Programming and America Reads.

See Attachment A for a visual layout of Formal Partnership, Cooperating School, and Networking levels.

GOAL #2: TO STRENGTHEN AND BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH SCHOOLS THAT WILL ENSURE EARLY, CONTINUOUS, AND INCREASINGLY COMPLEX AND REFLECTIVE FIELD EXPERIENCES IN COMMUNITY SCHOOLS.

Field experiences consist of a pre-admission clinical experience, typically done in the January term. Please see the Diversity Plan for details relating to the planned changes in response to the institutional elimination of the January Term. Once admitted to the program, Elementary Education candidates have 9 or 10 course-related clinical experiences. Secondary candidates have fewer because of fewer methods courses. Some students, though not all, also have service learning experiences in the schools. The capstone clinical experience is the semester long supervised student teaching that occurs when all course work is completed. Although area schools have regularly and very willingly worked with the Education Department with field placements, a perceived weakness in the relationships with schools regarding field experiences was the lack of an overall cohesive plan. At times this resulted in a somewhat haphazard semester-to semester placement approach in some courses. Ideally schools could be better informed and more vested participants in the candidate mentoring process. Furthermore, some relationships with schools depended thoroughly on the casual good will of the schools to host students. Because schools respond that they appreciate our students and feel them to be well prepared, this approach worked for many years. However, to create more intentionally designed field experiences, and thus ensure more meaningful connection between college course and field experience requires greater input from and collaboration with schools. A plan was needed to examine the field experience requirements for each course and works with schools and teachers to align needs and collaborate more intentionally to connect the content of the course with the actual classrooms in which candidates practice teach. Furthermore, it is necessary that there is a spirit of reciprocity, that is, that the schools feel real benefits as a result of collaborating with the Education Department. Reciprocity is key in ensuring continued success of the teacher education program. To maximize the possibilities for reciprocity in our collaborative efforts it is necessary to tap the resources of the college/university.

The Education Department has a long history of involvement in many area schools with the presence of teacher candidates in the classroom, faculty consulting with curriculum development, and various other projects in schools. CSB/SJU also has had a longstanding presence in area schools through other departments and programs. For example, CSB/SJU and the St. Cloud Area School District have a partnership in The Kennedy Center Performing Arts Centers and Schools: Partners in Education Program. This partnership avails fine arts performances and staff development opportunities to all area schools. Also, Service Learning has a strong presence in the schools, with an anticipated 250 students working in area schools in the current year in a variety of capacities. The America Reads Program sponsors approximately 33 college student in the schools doing tutoring in the 2000-2001 year. Fast Forward, a Chicano-Latino-Hispano Outreach Program at CSB/SJU is a tutor/mentor program active in area schools. Courageous Kids, a volunteer organization for CSB/SJU students, provides leadership models for elementary students in area schools. Upward Bound is a TRIO program funded by U.S. Department of Education, and provides services to low-income potential first generation college students in Willmar, Foley, Apollo, and Tech High Schools, who wish to pursue a post secondary education. The Internship Office also regularly places students in schools for a variety of opportunities. Furthermore, CSB/SJU welcomes all area schools to participate in tours of college and university resources and projects including the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, the art galleries, Biology Department Greenhouse, Natural Science Museum, and the Prairie Restoration Project and Arboretum.

Because area schools work with pre-teachers in training programs from multiple institutions, it is particularly important to consider that schools could potentially become overburdened with mentoring and training responsibilities. Therefore, it is critical that our program be sensitive to the demands placed on teachers and insure that they are appreciated for the vital work that they do with candidates. Schools must feel the benefit of involvement in partnerships with the colleges/university.

Objective #1: Mutually develop, strengthen, and maintain formal partnerships with area schools that build and support the pre-teacher field experience program that strive to meet NCATE standards for partnership.

Activities:

1. Examine NCATE PDS standards and translate the intent of the standards to the reality of partnerships with our program which operates as a small department in a liberal arts college/university

2. Determine methods course and student teaching field experiences most suitable to individual school programs and investigate continued or new participation with the program

3. Make phone contact with superintendents of potential formal partnership schools

4. Meet with school principals of interested school

5. Establish faculty liaison and meet with Team Leaders and/teachers

6. Draft written statement of interest/agreement to engage in a plan

7. Create school-college partnership committee for project development and communication. An initial task of the committee is to mutually develop a mission statement which reflects the individual needs of the institutions while considering NCATE standards for partnerships

8. Mutually set goals for pilot year of implementation as formal partners

9. Mutually outline assessment/reflection process for end-of-year assessment

10. Designate school representation on TEAC (Teacher Education Advisory Council)

11. Establish optional college representation on school leadership or other committees

12. Develop partnership handbook which includes a CSB/SJU mission statement, explanation of Education Department conceptual model, description of the critical attributes of the NCATE standards, and other relevant information

Objective #2: Improve existing cooperative efforts.

Activities:

1. Partnership Director and Directors of Elementary and Secondary Student Teaching determine process for communication and collaboration with cooperating schools

2. Meet with all principals or institutional director

3. Mutually establish set of procedures for requesting field placements, and identifying a contact person for each formal partnership school

4. Tour schools in order to gain a greater familiarity with each school

5. Exchange mission statements, diversity plan, program information, etc.

6. Visit with Department chairs in order to establish a clear sense of relationship, foster communication, and build trust

7. Communicate with potential and existing partnership schools to convey our willingness to consider collaborative work on school projects

Objective # 3: Investigate ways to make formal partnerships mutually beneficial.

Activities:

1.Meet with all individuals participating in the collaborative effort, including principals, team leaders, department chairs, and teachers; Tour schools and share information on programs

2. Develop partnership committee with each school to insure strong communication and representation of each institution’s interest in the partnership

3. Mutually develop mission statements and goals for collaboration; (Each school will have its own reason for involvement with the Education Department.)

4. Seek input from partners on issues and methods of reciprocity with TEAC (Teacher Education Advisory Council)

Objective #4: Strengthen liaison with mentor teachers and school administrators.

Activities:

1. Inquire with other teacher training institutions regarding training sessions in collaboration; Determine need for training in skills for collaboration with school and college personnel involved in the partnership

2. Create staff development training workshop in pre-teacher mentoring

3. Examine continued participation in staff development and new teacher mentoring and support process

4. Assess process for partnership mutually developed and reviewed yearly

5. Mutually develop a procedural plan for placements with each school including preferred methods of communication, involvement of faculty, information sharing with teachers, and process by which the procedural plan is reviewed

6. Determine school and faculty compensation for partnership work

7. Continue to share "Bennie bread" as a token of appreciation

8. Regularly update faculty on partnership developments

Objective #5: Network with college/university to support P-12 partnerships and cooperatives.

Activities:

1. Provide Education Department representation on the America Reads council

2. Establish Education liaison with the Fine Arts Programming and Education Series

3. Continue building relationship with Fast Forward for educational purposes and linking education students to volunteer opportunities provided by the Fast Forward

4. Continue working with Peace Studies Department working to create a workable and meaningful peace-building/conflict resolution program in various partner P-12 schools

5. Increase the number of candidates in the Courageous Kids Program, Upward Bound, and Fast Forward by making such options more visible to candidates early on in their program

6. Continue presence and activities with community services group, an ad hoc group of faculty and staff involved in various mentoring programs for youth in central Minnesota schools; This collaborative effort by the Education Department, Social Work, Courageous Kids, Fast Forward, Upward Bound, and Service Leaning in consultation with the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations in the Development Office aims to develop a fundable program to link CSB/SJU students and teachers-in-training with children who are considered at-risk for success in P-12 education.

7. Continue discussion with the Advisor for Domestic Minority Students to arrange for teacher candidates to assist with academic tutoring; This would seem especially appropriate for secondary education minors.

8. Continue discussion with the ESL Coordinator regarding ESL tutoring opportunities in local communities

9. Initiate increased communication to create stronger links with Natural Science departments to explore collaborative possibilities further utilizing the Biology Department Greenhouse, Natural Science Museum, and the Prairie Restoration Project and Arboretum

10. Begin conversation with various departments to inquire about possible collaborative efforts to develop programs for the gifted and talented students in partner schools

Continue linking with Service Learning to initiate opportunities for service learning students from various courses, including but not limited to Spanish and Peace Studies, to volunteer in partner schools

GOAL # 3: TO INCREASE CLINICAL EXPERIENCES IN CLASSROOMS WITH DIVERSE POPULATIONS.

For full treatment of the goal to increase clinical experiences in classrooms with diverse populations, please see the Education Department Diversity Plan. Please note that much of the following is repeated from the Diversity Plan.

The Education Department Diversity Plan indicates that it has not been possible in the past to ensure that candidates have the exposure to diverse student populations that will adequately prepare them for current urban classroom teaching or for classrooms of the future. To address the gaps in our current clinical experiences in relation to exposure to greater diversity will require the collaborative efforts of our institution, area schools, area youth organizations, and urban school. There will be several partnership considerations as we attempt to develop a systematic program which will ensure clinical experiences in varied and diverse field settings.

Objective #1: Identify diversity opportunities already existing but underutilized in formal partnerships and cooperative schools.

Activities:

1. Examine the changing diversity statistics for all partnership schools

2. Exchange diversity plans with partnership schools

3. Identify and investigate all school within a school and alternative programs to explore feasibility of clinical opportunities

4. Investigate opportunities to establish and develop clinical opportunities in area ESL programs

5. Continue discussion with South Junior High on the possibility of developing a clinical experience/volunteer tutoring program with students with diverse learning needs

6. Investigate possibility of developing a clinical experience/volunteer tutoring program in additional partner schools to work with students with diverse learning needs

7. Increase number of Education Students working for America Reads

8. With school partnership committees identify resources for diversity education and experiences that might be shared to enhance teacher training and P-12 education

9. Continue and expand work with Avon/Albany ESL students with options for America Reads, Service Learning, tutoring, instructional aid program

Objective #2: Build on existing campus programs and sites and explore options for new local off-campus opportunities that might involve our candidates in work with minority populations in educational settings.

Activities:

1. Increase the number of Education candidates who tutor/mentor in the Fast Forward, Upward Bound and Courageous Kids Programs by making such options more visible to candidates early on in their programs.

2. Continue discussions with Fast Forward and Upward Bound directors to explore opportunities for candidates to assist with instruction in their summer programs.

3. Continue discussion with Fast Forward on the possibility of developing a three-way tutoring model that would include a Fast Forward student, a candidate, and a younger Latino child; The Fast Forward participant would tutor a younger Latino child under the guidance of the education candidate tutor. That would allow the program (Fast Forward) to expand tutoring services to a larger number of Latino children as well as to encourage Fast Forward students to explore teaching as a possible career.

4. Continue discussions with the Advisor for Domestic Minority Students to arrange for candidates to assist with academic tutoring; This would seem especially appropriate for secondary education minors.

5. Establish relationships with summer school programs for migrant workers; The candidates would spend one to two weeks working as an instructional aide.

6. Work with local school districts to discuss the possibility of candidates being instructional aides for the remedial programs that will be necessitated as elementary and secondary students fail the basis standards tests

Objective #3: Continue to develop formal partnerships with schools that can provide education candidates exposure to diverse student populations and training in providing appropriate opportunities for all learners.

Activities:

1. Review the literature addressing field experiences and partnerships for diversity to ensure a clear understanding of the concept

2. Determine area schools with diversity field experience opportunities and determine level of interest in collaborative effort

3. Develop a target plan based on above results and move forward as appropriate meeting with teachers, principals, forming partnership committees, discussing reciprocal needs, sharing diversity plans, developing assessment process, and setting time line for implementation of field experience program

4. Determine diversity options Osseo, Anoka Hennepin, and Little Falls schools districts. Explore partnership and collaborative possibilities. Investigate possibility of field experience program, with housing provided, within high diversity districts

5. Continue to explore partnership and housing possibilities of partnerships with St. Paul and/or Minneapolis, schools to determine feasibility of placing candidates in inner-city schools for 1-2 weeks and/or involving candidates as instructional aids to assist students placed on probation because of poor student performance on standardized tests; Note: At present, the only time this might be feasible would be during the semester interim.

6. Continue to pursue information about the feasibility of placing candidates in inner-city Chicago schools for 1-2 week periods either during semester interim or spring break (or possibly at other times); (Connections to be made include Amate House and Su Casa.)

7. Continue to develop the plan for a domestic study abroad program with a school (e.g. near New Orleans) with a diverse student population; The program might be constructed so that candidates take their courses from an Education Department in a primarily black college while working in a racially diverse elementary, middle or senior high school in the area. The program might also develop into an exchange program whereby candidates of color from the partner Education Department would study on our campuses for a semester while CSB/SJU candidates studied there. This plan might also include an exchange of faculty between the collaborating education department.

GOAL #4: TO DEVELOP UNIFIED FIELD EXPERIENCE PROGRAM IN COLLABORATION WITH PARTNER SCHOOLS THAT MORE EFFECTIVELY INTEGRATES CRITICAL ANALYSIS AND REFLECTIVE DECISION MAKING.

In the fall of 2001 , the State of Minnesota will require all elementary and secondary teacher candidates to be licensed to teach at the middle level. In response to the change in state rules for license configuration, the Education Department implemented a middle level teacher training program. The dates for new rule implementation were originally set to begin in the year 2000, thus fueling the department’s motivation to ready students for the new licensure. In 1999 partnership was initiated with South Junior High with the intent to create a high quality field experience program in a middle school for pre-teachers. We feel that the partnership with South is one of our most successful ongoing partnerships. In part, this is due to the input from South’s faculty and administration in the design of the field experience, their participation in college courses, and their valuable input in the content of the courses. 

The St. Joseph Lab School is a partnership with the longest history with the Education Department. The college faculty members have consulted with St. Joseph Lab School in choices and development of curriculum. This communication has supported college and school faculty in what they are teaching in the college and school classroom. Furthermore, it enabled the candidate to be better prepared for and move more easily into field experiences. Furthermore, faculty and school teachers consult before and after field experiences in an effort to more effectively bring together course content and field experiences. Also, the St. Joseph Lab School has Internet access through a connection to the College of St. Benedict. The CSB/SJU Information and Technology Services has aided Lab School teachers in technology development. Currently, the St. Joseph Lab School and the Education Department are reviewing our partnership in an effort to ensure meaningful growth and clarity of direction in the collaborative effort. Presently, the Lab School is considering the possible benefits of evolving into a formal Professional Development School. 

As the Education Department aims to integrate best practice technology in teaching through various content methods courses that students take. As students learn strategies to incorporate technology in best practice teaching, they need opportunities to practice using these methods in the schools. It is our intention to collaborate with partner schools to plan ways that might blend their technology plans with the creation of field experience opportunities for pre-teachers.

Our goal is to continue the effort to enhance communication with partner schools in order to more deeply and meaningfully connect methods course work into the curricula of the participating field sites. By communicating early and regularly with partner schools and cooperating teachers, we aim to align content taught in methods courses to overlap with the content in the field experience sites.

Objective #1: Conduct a departmental analysis of how content, pedagogical, and decision making knowledge are integrated into field experience.

Activities:

1. Consult with Dr. David Leitzman, an Education Department member with experience in assessment, to determine where this information already exists and for guidance on ways to plan and effect such an analysis

2. Proceed with analysis as recommended

3. Share results with Education Department and partner schools

4. In consultation with Education Department and partner schools, identify perceived strengths and weaknesses

5. With Education Department and in consultation with partner schools, set plan of action and time line to address weaknesses

Objective # 2: Work with partner schools in developing and/or implementing their respective plans for effective integration of technology in P-12 teaching.

(Please see the Education Department Technology Plan for full treatment on the department’s technology plan.)

Activities:

1. Exchange technology plans with partner schools

2. Prepare candidates to effectively and appropriately integrate technology in teaching

3. Address ways in which the CSB/SJU Education Department can appropriately support and encourage the effective integration of technology in P-12 teaching in partnership agreements

4. Work with partner schools to provide pre-service teachers opportunities to observe, design, and deliver P-12 instruction that incorporates best practice technology

Objective #3: Develop an agreed upon guideline for developing and implementing the field experience component of each course.

Activities:

1. Seek partner school input on individual school considerations for field experiences placements, e.g. methods of request, program development, communication strategies with teachers, time limitations, evaluation process, and other pertinent considerations

2. Within the department outline specific field experience needs for each course

3. Align field experience needs to school considerations

GOAL #5: TO COLLECT PRELIMINARY DATA FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF PHASE II.

Objective #1: Develop plan for ongoing review of partnership in reference to NCATE partnership (PDS) standards.


Implementation Phase Two

The plan for Implementation Phase Two will be a work in progress that will respond to assessment and feedback from the projects implemented and ongoing in the partnership schools. In addition Phase Two will revise as necessary to respond to changes at the college and community school level. It will continue to address NCATE partnership (PDS) standards. It will investigate grant seeking possibilities to further partnership efforts and enhance P-12 education. Furthermore, a tentative proposal put forth in the diversity plan to explore a possible domestic study abroad program may be part of this plan.


Implementation Phase Three

The purpose of Phase Three is to insure that planning will be a constant element for partnership development and maintenance. The Education Department is committed to continue self-monitoring and revisiting early agreements and understandings with partner institutions to insure that our pursuits continue to meaningfully respond to the needs and programs of our partners.